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Hey everyone, I’m Erik Thor, an expert on using personality psychology for flow and personal development.

The Cognitive Functions In Real Life

I decided to make a brief writeup on the different cognitive functions. These discuss modern cognitive function definitions, not the original ones devised by Carl Jung. The modern definitions came about as people tried to discuss function differences between judging and perceiving types. Carl Jungs function definitions are more about people that are either introverted or extraverted.

Red functions – The brave functions

I personally favour yellow functions, but I thought I’d start with the red functions, which combine a perception function with Myers Briggs theories on Judging and Perceiving. (How you make decisions based on intuitions and sensations) Now, typically, Briggs never suggested that intuition and sensing played a role in that kind of decision making, and that intuition and sensing only has to do with taking in or putting out information. I disagree. I believe whims, urges, impulses, and reflexes play a key role in decision making.
Now, these functions are stronger in rebellious, visionary, brave, open, and decisive, proactive individuals. They are able to be more forceful about their intuitions and their ideas and are more ready to be champions for what is possible and what could come to be.
NJ / Intuitive Judging / Modern Introverted Intuition
The act of judging, using rules, grammar, and structure to connect and order ideas and your imaginative process and to give it focus and direction.
* Speculating about how a chain of events will transpire.
* Going on long-winded walks without a clear direction, but with an idea of something you ‘need’ and searching for something in your environment that will fit with your vague idea of what you need.
* Engaging in an inner, focused monologue, where you direct and focus your imagination to explore a set topic, without getting distracted or losing your pace.
NP / Intuitive Perceiving / Modern Extraverted Intuition
The act of brainstorming options and weighing ideas against each others to see which idea is best in an open-ended and sometimes rebellious manner.
* Seeing different optional ways a situation could transpire
* Making decisions in opposition to what other people want you to pick. Seeing what way other people want you to go, and making decisions to go outside what is expected of you.
* Engaging in dialogues with people and animals and things around you, seeing yourself as always interacting with things and playing out different ideas against one another.
SJ / Sensing Judging / Modern Introverted Sensing
Can best be described as using rules and structure and self-discipline to hone your body and your physical reality and environment.
* Organising a room, making it neat and tidy, keeping things clean, or according to an idea of how you think the world should work.
* Keeping up a rhythm or a routine to how you talk, move, or work on something.
* Devising a routine for how to clean, how to talk, or how to organise a party or how an event should transpire, and enforcing this routine.
SP / Modern Extraverted Sensing
Perhaps best described as using instincts and impulses to conduct your physical behaviour and to engage your environment.
* Making spontaneous and instinctive actions to respond to things in your immediate surroundings.
* Listening to your body and to how a situation calls you to act and move and trying to move in touch with nature.
* Developing your reflexes and your ability to respond quickly and naturally to things as they happen around you, coming up with a sense of ‘natural game’ as a person that will be able to pick up anything that is thrown at them and to play along with whatever life gives.

Green Functions – The ambitious functions

The green functions are also involved in decision making, but rather, decisions that relate to how we feel or think about a situation. These are more rational and refined decision making processes. These types tend to come off, rather than as adventurers, as managers or people in the pursuit of a career or a bigger calling. They are more devout and conscientious than the red types, but share the red types decisive, proactive style.
FP / Feeling Perceiving / Modern Feeling Introversion
I would describe this process as when you use nuances and storytelling to make decisions about how to act in each particular moment. For example through studying another person and making a decision about who they are and what kind of story you are in.
* Keeping a journal or notes or thoughts and pictures and anecdotes to get to know the people and the events that happen around you.
* Using these events and your information about these people to make good and ethical decisions in each moment to try to promote storytelling and to learn more about other people and who they are in different situations.
* Developing your ability to make authentic decisions based on weighing a friend or a family members interests against your own and seeing how best to express yourself and your story in relation to their story.
FJ / Feeling Judging / Modern Feeling Extroversion
Using storytelling, grammar, and social norms to organise your thoughts and your actions, speaking out in a way that an audience will understand and arguing against or towards an imagined or real group of people in a way that will get people to rally behind what you say or towards what you want.
* Coming up with rules in advance of social situations to understand how you want to act and how you want to be in relation to the people and the group that you care about.
* Thinking about what a group will accept or what people will think is rational, good, and ethical, and finding a way to act in a way that an imagined or real audience will accept.
* Using communication and social norms regarding communication to shape a message or to test your ideas to see which ones will have a positive impact on the people and the group around you.
TP / Thinking Perceiving / Modern thinking introversion
The act of using rational information, facts, and objective data about how various things are shaped and work, in a creative and open-ended manner, weighing and testing alternative facts against each others, and determining which fact or argument is the strongest or best depending on what you believe is good or bad.
* Studying various facts and gathering data about people, events, tools, and procedures around you.
* Gathering a database of stored facts and data and building it up with various options and tools and things that you can use in any potential situation that may come up.
* Using this database and whatever tools and facts and data you have available to solve problems as they come up around you, or customising tools and facts to fit with the present situation.
TJ / Thinking Judging / Modern Thinking Extroversion
The act of ordering and structuring tools and facts and keeping schematics and journals of what tools and what facts you have at your disposal. Using rules, laws, and systems to organise tools and facts, and when to use them.
* Coming up with laws and gameplay plans or strategies ahead of a situation to control how it happens.
* Organising a database or what you have at your disposal according to what is most efficient and what fits best with the laws and the rules that you see in play. Thinking about the right time or place to use a certain strategy or tool to it’s best ability.
* Judging how well something is going to perform and measuring up how and what someone or something is best used for.
Notice how the green and red functions perform differently: the red is about how you act and how you respond to and make decisions based on new information and based on your gut and ideas you have. The green is about how you use resources, people, data, and refined information to make decisions. The green functions are therefore better used by conscientious types, where the red functions are better used by open personality types.


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